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2017 Dewhurst Stakes tips – Favourite too strong to oppose in Future Champions’ feature

Expert Eye cruising to an impressive victory in the Vintage Stakes on day one of Glorious Goodwood.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this Group One at Newmarket and provides readers with his tips.

The second day of Newmarket’s Future Champions’ meeting features a whole host of superb races, but none can compare with the history and the prestige of the Dewhurst. This seven furlong Group One was first staged on the Rowley Mile in 1875, with many of its winners going on to challenge for the colt Classics during the following season.

The hot favourite to join the likes of Mill Reef, Teofilo and Rock Of Gibraltar on the incredible roll of honour is Sir Michael Stoute’s Expert Eye (4/7 William Hill), who produced one of the performances of the season at Glorious Goodwood. 

The Acclamation progeny travelled to Sussex on the back of a decent maiden victory at Newbury and, after plenty of support in the build-up, he went to post as the favourite for the Vintage Stakes. What followed was a wonderful spectacle of flat racing, as Expert Eye destroyed a decent field of juveniles to claim a maiden Grouped victory by four-and-a-half length.

Following that devastating display, Expert Eye was handed a lofty rating of 117 and shot to the head of the betting for next years’ 2000 Guineas. It took Churchill, last years’ Dewhurst winner and reigning Guineas king, four victories to reach a mark of 119, so it’s clear Sir Michael Stoute has a potential Classic contender on his hands.

Aidan O’Brien will be looking to land a fifth Dewhurst in four years and could take his tally of winners up to six later this month. Leading the Ballydoyle assault against Expert Eye could be Gustav Klimt (4/1 SkyBet), who also entered the 2000 Guineas reckoning when surging to victory in the Superlative Stakes. 

Ryan Moore’s mount was seriously hampered as he tried to catch Nebo at the head of the field and had to shift across the track to find a path to the post on the inside rail. However, once he got a whiff of the line, the favourite produced an excellent late charge to deny Nebo and claim a maiden Group Two.

Seahenge (7/1 Betfair) was battling for favouritism with Expert Eye ahead of their Vintage Stakes clash, but was left trailing eight lengths in his wake as Aidan O’Brien’s charge crossed the line fifth. As a result, the son of Scat Daddy went into the Champagne Stakes as an 8/1 outsider, but found some extra pace over the final furlong to pip Hey Gaman to the post and claim a Group Two victory of his own.

US Navy Flag (8/1 Paddy Power) had fallen short on several Festival outings this season, before returning to Ireland to claim an emphatic Group Three victory at the Curragh. He wasn’t expected to pull up any trees in the Middle Park Stakes here at Newmarket last weekend and carried a price of 14/1 to post. However, to everyone’s surprise, it was he who broke away from the pack to claim a stunning Group One triumph. If he returns to Newmarket he could be a major player, but a trip to the Breeders’ Cup sits higher on his agenda.

Current 2018 Epsom Derby ante-post favourite, The Pentagon (25/1 Paddy Power) also features in the Dewhurst betting. He’s looked impressive this season, winning two profitable seven furlong contests in convincing fashion, but his current lengthy odds suggest a trip to Newmarket is doubtful.

Verbal Dexterity powering to victory in the Group One Vincent O'Brien National Stakes at the Curragh.

One Ballydoyle resident who looks likely to join Gustav Klimt and Seahenge in the Dewhurst is Threeandfourpence (20/1 William Hill), who claimed a maiden victory on his second outing at Fairyhouse. Both his appearances have come in pretty easy maidens, so his participation in this Group One is simply to keep his stablemates company on the trip over from Ireland.

The highest placed Irish raider in the current betting is Jim Bolger’s Verbal Dexterity (4/1 Betfair), who has starred in two high-profile battles with Beckford this year. He was first beaten by a length by Gordon Elliott’s young charge in the Group Two Railway Stakes at the Curragh. However, he turned the tables in emphatic fashion as the rivals stepped up to seven furlongs, trouncing his Curragh conqueror by three-and-a-half lengths to win the Group One Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.

John Gosden’s Emaraaty (10/1 Paddy Power) got his career off to an inauspicious start when finishing fourth in a winnable maiden at Sandown. The Dubawi progeny lived up to his reputation on his following start at Newbury, cruising to a comfortably victory in another Class Four maiden. Victory in this Group One should be well out of his grasp, but with an entry into next years’ Derby, he could find a little extra to challenge for the places.

Mythical Magic (16/1 Betfair) began his career with eye-catching victories in a maiden and a Listed contest at Deauville, before passing the post third behind Seahenge and Hey Gaman in the Champagne Stakes. He came up well short in the one mile Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere on Arc day at Chantilly, but could be an each-way contender dropping back in trip.

Charlie Appleby also looks set to send Glorious Journey (25/1 William Hill) to the Dewhurst, following a comfortable victory in the Group Three Prix La Rochette. He will be defending an unbeaten record when he makes his Group One debut and could be open to further progression.

Gustav Klimt would surely be a challenger if he took his place in the Dewhurst stalls. However, he holds entry into the Racing Post Trophy later this month and O’Brien may fancy stepping his charge up to a mile before the end of the season.

Verbal Dexterity looked extremely impressive when claiming an emphatic Group One victory, a feat EXPERT EYE is still to achieve. Yet, there was something magical about the favourite’s victory in the Vintage Stakes and you get the feeling it will take a herculean effort for any of his Newmarket rivals to deny him victory.

He’s currently the 4/1 ante-post favourite to claim the first Classic of 2018. If he wins the Dewhurst, that price is bound to plummet, as there is every chance he could follow in the footsteps of Nijinsky, Frankel and Churchill by claiming the Dewhurst, 2000 Guineas double.

14/10/2017 3:35pm Newmarket Dewhurst Stakes selection – EXPERT EYE (4/7 William Hill)

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2017 Dewhurst Stakes tips – Favourite too strong to oppose in Future Champions’ feature

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this Group One at Newmarket and provides readers with his tips.

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